"The Way They Were" [Vimeo] Punk and New Wave 1976 - 1978. Channel 4 UK programme first broadcast circa 1984 / 1985-ish. Hosted by the late Tony Wilson, it's a compilation of performances by bands taken from his previous TV shows in the late 70's, such as So It Goes. [more inside]
808 State is an English electronic group that formed in 1987, and take their name from the Roland TR-808 drum machine and their shared state of mind. As a trio, they produced their iconic track, Pacific, which fused influences of house music, jazz fusion and exotica. The group changed membership a bit over the years, but one way or another 808 State have released six albums* to date, and a number of singles, EPs, and promotional discs. 808state.com has a ton of information, including an extensive visual discography, a list of other productions and remixes, and over a gig of demos, live tracks, and other non-album audio to download. Given the group's 27 year-long history, there's a lot more to see and hear. [more inside]
Andrew Collins started a blog in July 2013 - Circles of Life: The 143 - he's about half way through now. [more inside]
Flickr user Harvezt brings you The Dark Side of the Covers, which recreates 33 rock album covers as seen from the OPPPOSITE direction. Some of the covers are iconic, others are obscure, some of the interpretations are simple and obvious, others are creative and... interesting. (And some are NSFW, but then, some of the original covers were NSFW).
Psychic Rites. Imagine Joy Division grew up in Moscow, Idaho, a small college town with a surprising connection to the Manchester scene. Imagine that Ian Curtis was exposed to hipster irony and decided he wanted to have a bit of fun with all that doom & gloom. You might have something like this. Or maybe this or this. (No, really.)
"Self-proclaimed knowledge, music, LEGO and die-cast car junkie, Adly Syairi Ramly presents a collection of 20 iconic bands that he’s taken the time to recreate with everyone’s favorite building blocks." [more inside]
Morrissey, George Michael and radio DJ Tony Blackburn discuss the week's pop culture on a TV panel show from deep, deep, deep in 1984. Michael is unimpressed with a breakdance film. Moz is blasé about Joy Division. Blackburn dismisses vintage Atlantic Records reissues, preferring his current options in soul. Pastel color schemes and harsh opinions aplenty. (SLYT, 27 minutes, via the Guardian Tumblr)
On Jun 4, 1976, between 40 and 100 people gathered to see the Sex Pistols perform at the Lesser Free Trade Hall in Manchester, a gig that has been called "the greatest gig of all time." It was attended by members of Joy Division, New Order, the Fall, the Smiths, A Certain Ratio, Ludus, Simply Red, Buzzcocks, Magazine, the producer Martin Hannett, and voted one of the most important concerts of all time, alongside Woodstock and Live Aid. A documentary about that night is called "I Swear I Was There." (SLYT)
"Inspired by the iconic sleeve of Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures album, this Waves Mickey Mouse Tee incorporates Mickey's image within the graphic of the pulse of a star. That's appropriate given few stars have made bigger waves than Mickey!"
Joy Division bassist Peter Hook talks about performing tracks from Unknown Pleasures.
"We caught up with the legendary Peter Hook to interview him about the good old days." Peter Hook's Extraordinary Stories. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) (MLYT)
Section 25 frontman Larry Cassidy, 56, has died. The news was first reported by journalist and punk musician John Robb on his blog; at this time, no cause of death has been released. [more inside]
The cover to Joy Division's debut album Unknown Pleasures, animated. The original cover, by Peter Saville, consisted of a reversed image from The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Astronomy showing radio pulses over time from CP 1919, now known as PSR B1919+21, the first pulsar to be discovered. Read the covers story here.
Steel Harmony performing "Transmission" by Joy Divison at a parade. (SLYT 4.22 minutes) [more inside]
'This is the story of how Factory pioneered Briton's independent pop culture, imagined a new Manchester, and blew a shedload of money:
Factory - Manchester from Joy Division to Happy Mondays'
Factory - Manchester from Joy Division to Happy Mondays'
Connecticut's Have a Nice Life is responsible for one of the year's most acclaimed, highly conceptual albums this year, Deathconsciousness. The two discs (entitled The Plow That Broke The Plains and The Future, respectively) feature music spanning over five years of collaboration between the two artists, and are accompanied by a 75-page booklet on medieval Italian heretics in lieu of liner notes. Combining elements of shoegaze, new wave, ambient drone, post-rock, experimental industrial, avant-garde dark metal, and electronic music, and citing references such as My Bloody Valentine and Joy Division to their credit, the original and only pressings sold out within hours. Full stream of all 85 minutes available here. Direct mp3 samples here and here. [more inside]
Control, the biopic covering the the life and untimely death of Joy Division's singer Ian Curtis, opens in the US today (on a limited release) [ trailer | fan site | on set interview ]. This is director Anton Corbijn's debut full length film [ interview ] and was co-produced by Tony Wilson (a giant in the Manchester and UK music scene, sadly missed. Check out 24 Hour Party People [trailer | clip]) . Control opened in the UK several days ago and the reviews are largely positive [ Guardian | Times Online | Independent | Channel 4 | Time Out | Manchester Evening News ]. [more inside]
Together at last! Joy Division and Mongolian throat singing.
"I was just besotted." Rock music does not lack for tragic heroes; perhaps none more doomed than Ian Curtis, lead singer of Joy Division, the post-punk precursor to Madchester's New Order. Debilitating epilepsy, depression, charges of Naziism, an impending divorce -- 25 years ago, the day before the start of a US tour, Curtis hanged himself in the kitchen of his flat while Iggy Pop's "The idiot" played. His widow Deborah speaks in this new interview in The Guardian; is she drumming up interest for the new starring-Jude-Law biopic?